'Strong' May will be 'brilliant' PM like Thatcher, says Geoff Boycott

Veteran cricketer Geoffrey Boycott revealed that Theresa May passes his test as a good Prime Minister, as he compared her to Margaret Thatcher.

Boycott hailed the PM for her "integrity, principles and honesty" as the pair's paths crossed during Mrs May's visit to India.

And there is a chance his comments will bowl her over, as Boycott was one of her girlhood sporting heroes.

She was brought up listening to Test cricket on the radio with her father, and has previously said: "I have been a Geoff Boycott fan all my life. It was just that he kind of solidly got on with what he was doing."

Mrs May presented a silver engraved cricket bat to Indian Premier Narendra Modi after talks in New Delhi, sent by the England and Wales Cricket Board to mark the forthcoming Test series between England and India.

Boycott did not have a chance to meet Mrs May, but was staying in the five-star Delhi hotel where she addressed a business summit.

Asked what he thought of the new PM, he told reporters: "She'll be like Margaret Thatcher, she'll be brilliant.

"She's good, she doesn't need my advice, she'll be fine.

"She's got a few more strokes than me."

Explaining his enthusiasm for Mrs May, he added: "She has views and she's strong. Life is about integrity and principles - it should be.

"We want politicians like that with integrity, with principles, with honesty.

"She's got the Prime Minister's job at a very tough juncture in our history, the change and all that's going to happen in the next two or three years.

"It would be very tough for whoever was Prime Minister, she's got it at a very difficult time.

"I was told by a lady who wrote me a wonderful letter before she died many years ago - a big supporter of mine - that 'adversity never breaks a good man - it fines him down like gold to rise up again a better person'.

"She'll show her mettle, won't she?"

Asked about Mrs May's predecessor, David Cameron, Boycott replied: "I need to improve his batting."

But he added: "I liked him, he's a very personable guy."

Asked if he was in favour of Brexit, he said: "Yes, I always was because we will be independent, not run by France and Germany.

"It's the principle of being ourselves.

"We've always been successful as an island; trade with people but not let them run out lives.

"Some of the rules from Europe are stupid."

Indian Prime Minister Modi joked with Mrs May about the forthcoming Test matches as the premiers met for a working lunch in New Delhi.

The England team, captained by Alistair Cook, begins the first of a five-Test series in Rajkot on November 9.

Referring to the sumptuous feast laid on for his guest at the Indian government's Hyderabad House palace, Mr Modi said he had a good cook, and India was waiting to see whether England also had a good Cook.

Mrs May responded that she was hoping good things would happen with England's Cook.

Delivering a statement to the press later, Mr Modi said he wanted to convey his best wishes to the visiting England team, adding: "May the best team win."